Forestry Courses and Degree Programs
Learn about courses and degree programs in forestry, including common topics of study and career options. Explore how to choose a school and see what the career outlook is for those who complete forestry courses and degree programs.
What You Need to Know
Forestry programs are widely available at all degree levels and prepare you for a career in a variety of fields, including conservation and surveying. Choose a school that offers plenty of field training and consider specializing in a topic such as sustainability to get a more targeted education in forestry.
|Programs||Forest Ecology, Forest Engineering, Silviculture|
|Degrees||Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate|
|Job Outlook||6% growth from 2016-2026 for conservation scientists and foresters|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Degree Programs in Forestry Are Available?
As of July 2018, forestry degree programs were offered at over 50 universities, community colleges and technical schools around the country, according to the U.S. National Center for Education Statistics. Because of the hands-on, outdoor nature of the field, online degree programs in forestry are rare.
Forestry degrees are available at both the undergraduate and graduate level. You may find an Associate of Applied Science in Forestry Technology or a Bachelor of Arts in Forestry. At the graduate level, a Master of Science or a Doctor of Philosophy in Sustainable Forest Management, Forest Fire Science, or Forest Economics and Policy Analysis might be additional options to consider. Some specialized programs in forestry may be available, including:
- Forest biology, ecology or genetics
- Forest engineering
- Forest resource management
How Should I Choose a Program?
In general, you might want to choose a school located near natural forest habitats, arboretums or environmental research labs for practical field training and experience. If you're interested in working as a surveyor, resource manager or maintenance specialist, you may want to consider enrolling in a 2-year associate's program in forest technology or a 4-year bachelor's program in forest management or engineering.
What Kind of Graduate Degree Programs Are Available?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, foresters and conservation scientists who are interested in conducting independent research or teaching at a university usually need to possess a master's or doctoral degree. You'll usually need to complete a bachelor's program in forestry or forest science before applying for enrollment in a graduate-level forestry program.
What Will I Study?
In a forestry degree program, you might take courses like forest mensuration, hydrology, harvesting theory and practice, ecosystem regeneration and forest road management. You may be expected to complete a final project as part of your bachelor's program. Master's and doctoral programs in forestry are typically research-oriented; you'll usually need to complete a master's thesis or write a doctoral dissertation in order to earn your degree. Consider some of the following topics that you might find in a forestry program:
- Forest biology and ecology
- Forest surveying
- Woodland fire management
- Forest economics
- Environmental policy
- Conservation biology
- Sustainability management